San Diego Comic Con Review…. part one

As I recover from a fantastic show, I find myself going over all the incredible and interesting things that have happened. A lot of good stories to tell. Some are quite personal, some I cannot tell until other events unfold (Good things are coming in the future), and some that I am dying to share. I wont post everything, but I will take a moment and go through some of the many highlights of the show that happened to me.

As an exhibitor of the show and with what I do, I sketch for free to anyone that asks… more on that later, I hardly get away from my booth. In fact sat morning was all the time designated for me to walk around. Which is ok, because 90% of what happened came to me. So on to what made SDCC so much fun this year.

First: Pre-paid parking. This was by far the best thing the con did for exhibitors. A big thumbs up for them. Honestly, parking under the hall should be for exhibitors, because of the amount of items they have have to lug back and forth between car and booth. So if you are attending think of the exhibitors and let them have the parking underneath.

This was the first year my oldest daughter was able to work the con with me. She survived 3 days. I must say having her walk the floor with be before the show opened was a very nice experience as we headed to our booth. I really enjoyed watching her reaction as she was able to interact with some of her favorite artist, who are friends of mine and just have a quiet moment before the crowds came.

Thanks to Rich, Jim and Aaron for making the show go smoothly as always. I am literally nothing without you. You guys run my shows so well, that I am very grateful that you are willing to give up your time to do so.

OK. Big events I can talk about.

First off I ran into one of my oldest and best friends Steven M. at the show. We met when he was 6 and I was 8. We built the most incredible lego projects together. My favorite was a 3 foot aircraft carrier. It was so over joyed to see him again that for a moment I was speechless when he stood in front of my table. I moved when I was 14 and have only seen him once since. It was a very nice moment for me at the show. Thanks for snapping a few pics amy:)

Ok next big moment.

One of the reason I enjoy sketching for free, is creates opportunities to interact with those that are fans of my work. Prints or books, each one brings something special to the table. Too many artist hide behind the table and I think they miss out on some special opportunities. Well I sketch almost anything, I have some restrictions and sketch books always get more love. I love sketchbooks, bring one by and the drawing is a lot more indepth. Anyways a new fan bought the whole “Bean” series and asked me to sketch one of David Petersen’s characters in his sketchbook as a Samari, he even had reference. So I did and we chatted a little about how  I am a huge fan of David’s work and my kids love the series as well. I have never met David and this year he was at the other end of the hall, so my chances on getting to even introduce myself was slim. Anyways this young man, headed off and returned about 45 minutes later and wanted to show me something. He had gone over to David Petersen’s area and had shown him my sketch and so in return David sketched “the Bean” on the following page. I was really touched by the illustration and we even took a photo of it. Needless to say there is a little more to the story, but I just wanted to show how incredibly awesome some people can be both exhibitor and guest. I would also encourage you to go check out Davids work here.

It was great to see Jason, Scott and Daniel & Donna again. Very talented and their ideas are well worth visiting. I wish I could have hung out more with them but the problem with big shows is that they are big. I use the smaller shows to chat more with creators.

It was really nice to see Der-shing Helmer of the Meek. The last time we had talked was at ape almost 5 years ago so it was really nice to see her incredible style translated to comics. Her stuff is a little mature but it is fantastically drawn.

It was also great to see J.S. Lewis of the Grey Griffins and you should see some more prints from me on his future books. I am looking forward to playing in his world a bit more. books. (John I still need a graphic to give you some better love on the site.)

As always James and Jermey Owen made the days a lot lighter with good stories, some loud laughter and incredibly snappy vest. It was good to see my mentor again and as always I really appreciate the advice that I have been given over the years from him. I have valued it since we first met. I hope you take a moment and check out the incredible world James has created both literally and artistically, it is really good stuff. It is actually one of my sons favorite book series right now.

I also spent some time with to other incredible creators who I enjoy very much. Over the years I have had a chance to talk to them on and off and I have always enjoyed what they have had say. Stan Sakai and his sweet wife and Sergio Aragones who’s work in mad magazine I have loved for many years. It is always a pleasure to chat with them.

I also had the opportunity to talk to the one that put me on the path William Stout. I have always loved William’s work and one day I might even tell the story on how William Stout inadvertently started me on my own personal quest to be a fantasy illustrator.

Honestly some of the greatest moments have been meeting my own personal hero’s and just using the moment to just say thanks for all that they have done to inspire me over the years.

Like I said this was one of the better shows that I have been a part of this year. I really look forward to coming back. There were so many others that I got to spend some time with that I have not listed here. I would love to do that but I will have to add some more names  in a day or two with my second SDCC report. I do know that I will forget people as well, which I am really really sorry about, it happens at times.

If you get the chance to go… go. Yet hunt the artist down, they are pushed further and further out by the movies, yet it is the artist that inspire others to create the movies. So go and find them and be inspired, because you never know where that will take you.


more to come later….. oh and total sketch count was somewhere in the 800’s – I took it a little easier this time, and I think I am going to go for a 1000 next year:)